Consumer guide to Homeowner and Tenant Insurance by wuzhenguang

VIEWS: 7 PAGES: 28

									   Consumer guide to
    Homeowner and
    Tenant Insurance




               1999
Oregon Insurance Division
                                                                                                          Table of contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................. 2
How to be an informed consumer ............................................................................................... 2
     Obtaining coverage: underwriting ............................................................................................................ 2
     Your rights against unfair discrimination ................................................................................................ 3
     What to do if you can’t obtain coverage ................................................................................................... 3
     Saving money ................................................................................................................................................ 3
     Price comparison illustrations.................................................................................................................... 3

Who needs home insurance? ........................................................................................................... 4
     Homeowner basic coverages ...................................................................................................................... 4
     What is covered ............................................................................................................................................. 4
     Property protection ....................................................................................................................................... 4
     Liability protection ....................................................................................................................................... 5
     Medical expenses for others ....................................................................................................................... 5
     Insuring to value ........................................................................................................................................... 5
     Policy exclusions: Items not covered ........................................................................................................ 6
     Obtaining protection for certain perils .................................................................................................... 6
     Renter insurance ........................................................................................................................................... 6
     Condominium insurance............................................................................................................................. 6

How to file a claim .................................................................................................................................. 7
     Evaluating the damage ................................................................................................................................ 7
     Negotiating a final settlement .................................................................................................................... 7

How to be a good insurance risk .................................................................................................. 7
A safety net for homeowners .......................................................................................................... 8
Frequently asked questions ............................................................................................................. 8
Glossary ........................................................................................................................................................ 10
Price comparisons ................................................................................................................................. 11
Endnotes ...................................................................................................................................................... 17
Inventory ..................................................................................................................................................... 18
Insurance publications ..................................................................................................................... 24




                                                                                                                                                                 1
About the Oregon Insurance Division
The mission of the Insurance Division is to protect the insurance-buying public by administer-
ing and enforcing the Insurance Code.
We ensure the financial soundness of insurers, the availability and affordability of insurance,
and the fair treatment of consumers by doing the following:
•   Advocating for consumer interests on insurance issues
•   Resolving consumer complaints
•   Investigating and penalizing violations of insurance law
•   Reviewing insurance policies and premium rates for compliance
•   Licensing insurance companies and agents
•   Monitoring insurers for solvency and marketplace conduct
•   Educating the public on insurance issues



Call us for help!
s Consumer Protection Section — (503) 947-7984 or (888) 877-4894
  (toll-free in Oregon)
    If you have a question or a complaint against an insurance company or agent, call our Con-
    sumer Protection Section or visit our Web site.

s Company Section — (503) 947-7982
    To find out if a company is authorized to sell insurance in Oregon, call our Company Section or
    visit our Web site.

s Agent Licensing Unit — (503) 947-7981
    To find out if your insurance agent is licensed to do business in Oregon, call our Agent Licensing
    Unit or visit our Web site.

s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) — (800) 722-4134
  (toll-free in Oregon)
    Call SHIBA for information about Medicare and other health insurance for senior citizens.




Visit our Web site!
The Oregon Insurance Division’s Web site includes all of our publications, as well as other useful
information for consumers. You can file a complaint on line against an insurance company or agent,
check to see if an insurer is authorized to sell insurance in Oregon, and find out if your insurance
agent is licensed to do business in Oregon. Our Web address:

                           www.cbs.state.or.us/ins
Introduction
Insurance protection for your home, personal           A company’s financial information is available
belongings, and personal liability exposure is         from the following organizations that rate insur-
available through a homeowner or tenant policy.        ance companies. Companies may charge a fee for
Coverage and costs vary greatly by company, so it’s    these services.
important to shop around when choosing an insur-       s A.M. Best Company
ance company.                                              (908) 439-2200
This guide can help lower the cost of your home            www.ambest.com
insurance and increase the value you receive. It       s   Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Company
includes information about what kinds of coverage          (312) 368-3198
are available, how to shop for insurance, and tips         www.dcrco.com
to hold down your costs. It also allows you to
compare rates for some of the major insurance          s   Moody’s Investor Services
companies doing business in Oregon.                        (212) 553-0377
                                                           www.moodys.com
This booklet is designed to be used as a guide to
help you understand your insurance policy and          s   Standard & Poor’s Rating Information Services
make informed choices. It doesn’t cover all situa-         (212) 208-1527
tions. For specific information about coverages and        www.standardandpoors.com
rates, you’ll need to review your policy declaration   s Weiss Research, Inc.
page, contact your individual agent, or contact your       (800) 289-9222 or (561) 627-3300
insurance company.                                         www.weissinc.com
Comparison shopping takes a little more time, but      One source of information about how companies treat
it can save you money!                                 their policyholders is the Consumer Guide to Oregon
However, cost is just one factor to consider when      Insurance Complaints, which annually ranks insurers
choosing an insurance company. It’s also important     from best to worst based on the number of consumer
to look at the company’s financial condition and       complaints received by the Insurance Division. To
how it treats its policyholders.                       request a copy, call (503) 947-7984 or (888) 877-4894
                                                       (toll-free in Oregon). The guide also is on our Web
                                                       site: www.cbs.state.or.us/ins.



How to be an informed consumer
The key to comparison shopping is deciding what
coverage you need and then getting premium
                                                       Obtaining coverage: underwriting
                                                       Underwriting standards are rules insurance compa-
estimates (rate quotes) from a number of insurers.
                                                       nies use to decide whether to insure your property.
Make sure you’re comparing similar policies when
                                                       A company may decline your application for cover-
asking for rate quotes. Each policy should provide
                                                       age if your property does not meet its underwriting
the same amount of coverage for your home, its
                                                       standards. Each company has its own underwriting
personal contents, liability protection, and medical
                                                       requirements, but typical ones include:
payment coverage. Differences in deductibles or
policy endorsements can cause large variances in       • Type of construction (brick, frame, stucco, etc.)
premiums. For example, if you want full replace-       • Exterior lighting or security systems
ment value protection on your house and personal
                                                       • Condition of your home
items, make sure this coverage is included in all
policies you consider.                                 • Property upkeep and maintenance
                                                       • Home value
                                                       • Proximity to local fire department



2
                                    How to be an informed consumer
Insurance companies will review the number and size        tional insurance protection for your home. The
of claims that you’ve filed. The average family experi-    FAIR Plan provides limited coverage and does not
ences a loss once every nine years. You may experi-        provide liability protection. Additional information
ence problems obtaining homeowner insurance if you         can be obtained from your insurance agent or:
have more claims than the average family.                  Oregon FAIR Plan Association
Consumer credit reports are also requested by an           8285 SW Nimbus Avenue, Suite 104
insurance company when writing policies. Insur-            Beaverton, OR 97008
ance companies use credit information as an indica-        (503) 643-5448
tor of the frequency and severity of future claims.
Companies must use credit information in a way             Saving money
that is not unfairly discriminatory. If an insurer         Many companies offer discounts if you insure your
rejects your insurance application based on infor-         automobile and home with the same company.
mation contained in your credit report, you have           Another way to save is to install security devices in
the right to review the report directly from the           your home. A higher deductible also will help
credit reporting agency. Your insurance company            reduce your premium.
will provide you with the credit agency’s name,
address, and telephone number.
The Federal Trade Commission protects consumers’
                                                           Price comparison illustrations
rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).         Homeowner insurance costs vary widely among
For additional information about your rights or to         companies doing business in Oregon. The price
file a formal complaint, contact:                          comparison illustrations on pages 11-16 show why it’s
                                                           important to shop around for homeowner insurance.
Bureau of Consumer Protection
Fair Credit Reporting Act                                  We surveyed 24 companies that sell homeowner
Washington, D.C. 20580                                     insurance in Oregon. We asked these large compa-
(202) 326-3761                                             nies (more than $1 million in premium in Oregon in
                                                           1998) to quote annual premiums for a homeowner
                                                           policy and a renter policy in four cities.
Your rights against                                        Premiums are quoted as of Oct. 1, 1999, and are
unfair discrimination                                      subject to change without notice. The coverage
An insurance company cannot deny, refuse to renew,         limits are for illustration purposes and are not
limit, or charge more for coverage because of your         recommended levels of coverage.
race, color, religion, or national origin. A company       A Homeowner Special Form (HO-3) policy was
also cannot deny, refuse to renew, limit, or charge        used for the homeowner illustration because 85
more for coverage because of your age, gender,             percent of homeowners select this coverage. The
marital status, disability, or partial disability unless   quote is for a 1997 frame house with gas heat, no
the refusal, limitation, or higher rate is based on        fireplace, and a composite shingle roof. Replace-
sound underwriting or actuarial principles.                ment value: $200,000 for a dwelling with no out-
In addition, a company cannot unfairly discrimi-           buildings. Full replacement value for the contents:
nate between individuals of the same (rate) class          $140,000. Medical expenses: $1,000. Liability protec-
and essentially the same hazard (risk) in its rates,       tion: $100,000.
policy terms, benefits, or in any other manner             Illustrations show the additional cost for earth-
unless the refusal, limitation or higher rate is           quake protection. Insurance for homes located in
based on sound actuarial principles.                       remote areas without a fire hydrant or manned fire
                                                           department will cost more due to the fire risk. Some
What to do if you                                          insurance companies do not offer protection for
                                                           homes in these areas. Illustrations show which
can’t obtain coverage                                      companies offer policies in an unprotected area
You may qualify for limited coverage under the             outside of Pendleton and the cost for coverage.
Oregon Fair Access to Insurance Requirements
(FAIR) Plan if you have difficulty obtaining tradi-

                                                                                                               3
Who needs home insurance?
Owners —  To protect both your house and                   Coverage C: Covers personal property, including the
          personal property.                               contents of your home and other personal items
Tenants — To protect your furniture and other              owned by you or family members who live with you.
          personal property.                               This protection can be based on actual cash value or
                                                           replacement cost. Home insurance policies may
Everyone — To protect against liability for injuries       provide limited coverage for small boats; however,
           you cause to other people or damage             most home insurance policies don’t cover motorized
           to their property on or off the pre-            vehicles unless they are unlicensed and used only at
           mises.                                          your home. Some items may have specific coverage
                                                           limits. These may include firearms, artwork, business
Homeowner basic coverages                                  property, electronic data, jewelry, and money. Extra
There are personal insurance policies designed to          coverage is usually available by adding endorsements
protect homeowners, condominium owners, and                to your policy.
renters. Insurance coverage is determined by named         Coverage D: Covers living expenses over and
perils or exclusions in a policy. Perils are events that   above your normal living expenses if you cannot
cause damage to property. Examples include fire,           live in your home while repairs are being made, or
rain, wind, vandalism, and falling objects.                if you are denied access by government order.
A named-peril policy provides insurance coverage           Additional property coverages: Homeowner
against damages as a result of a specifically named        policies may provide limited coverage for debris
peril and typically applies to personal property.          removal, damaged trees, shrubs, other plants and
An all-physical-loss-basis policy provides protec-         lawns, fire department service charges, property
tion for property that is damaged from any and all         removal, theft or illegal use of credit or transfer
perils except specifically excluded perils and typi-       cards, collapse of buildings caused by certain perils,
cally applies to real property.                            and glass breakage if caused by a covered peril.
                                                           Coverage for these items is controlled by individual
                                                           policy limitations.
What is covered                                            Policy example: A typical policy starts with the
Homeowner policies are sold as a package. In your          dwelling value and has the following ratios among
policy, Part 1 provides protection for your real and       coverages:
personal property, while Part 2 provides personal
liability protection.                                      A ..... Dwelling ................................................. $100,000
                                                           B ..... Other structures .......................................$10,000
Property protection                                                (usually 10% of dwelling amount)
The property protection portion of your policy is in       C ..... Personal property* ...................................$70,000
sections. These coverage sections identify the differ-     D ..... Additional living expense ......................$20,000
ent benefit limits associated with your property.                  (usually 20 % of dwelling amount)
Coverage A: Covers your house, attached structures,        * Personal property is usually covered at 70 percent
fixtures in the house such as built-in appliances,         of the dwelling amount for replacement cost policies
plumbing, heating and permanently installed air-           and 50 percent of the dwelling amount for actual
conditioning systems, as well as electrical wiring.        cash value policies.
Coverage B: Covers other structures, including
detached structures such as garages, storage sheds,
and fixtures attached to the land, including fences,
driveways, sidewalks, patios, retaining walls, etc.
Detached structures used for business purposes
aren’t covered under a personal homeowner policy.




4
                                                Who needs home insurance?
Liability protection                                       • Inflation guard endorsement increases the amount
• Personal liability: Your policy provides personal          of your homeowner insurance to keep up with
  liability coverage against a claim or lawsuit              inflation so that you can maintain adequate cover-
  resulting from bodily injury or property damage            age to replace your home in the event of a loss. It is
  to others caused by an accident on your property           not available from all companies.
  or as a result of your personal activities any-          • Scheduled personal property endorsement
  where. This coverage does not provide protection           itemizes articles such as jewelry, furs, stamps,
  for auto and business-related incidents. The               coins, guns, computers, antiques, and other items
  standard policy is usually written to pay up to            that may exceed normal policy limits in your
  $100,000 per claim. This coverage protects you             regular homeowner policy. It often provides
  and all family members who live with you.                  coverage that is broader than the coverage in the
• Personal umbrella policy: A separate personal              home insurance policy. There normally isn’t a
  umbrella policy can be purchased to provide extra          deductible for this coverage. Increased limits on
  liability protection if you are sued. An umbrella          money and securities provide additional cover-
  policy benefit will start paying when other policy         age for money, bank notes, securities, deeds, etc.
  liability limits are exhausted. For example, a friend    • Secondary residence premises endorsement
  is seriously injured while jumping on a trampoline         provides protection for a second home, such
  in your back yard. The friend sues for damages.            as a summer residence.
  The amount of damage exceeds the homeowner
                                                           • Watercraft endorsement extends personal liabil-
  liability limits. A personal umbrella policy would
                                                             ity and medical payments coverage to sailboats
  provide additional protection.
                                                             and power boats. Consult your agent or insur-
                                                             ance company about personal watercraft to see if
Medical expenses for others                                  a separate policy is recommended to provide
Your policy includes coverage to pay medical                 adequate coverage.
expenses for persons accidentally injured on your          • Theft coverage protection endorsement broad-
property regardless of fault. Medical expense pay-           ens the theft coverage to include personal con-
ments do not apply to your injuries or those of              tents in your motor vehicle, trailer or watercraft
family members living with you or to activities              to be covered without proof of forcible entry.
involving your at-home business. The standard
                                                           • Credit card forgery and depositor‘s forgery
policy is usually written to provide medical expense
                                                             coverage endorsement provides protection against
payments of $1,000 per person.
                                                             loss, theft or unauthorized use of credit cards. It
                                                             also covers forgery of any check, draft, promissory
Insuring to value                                            note, etc. No deductible applies to this endorse-
It’s important to have enough insurance to cover             ment. Consult your agent or insurance company
the value of your home and belongings. You usu-              regarding any exceptions that may apply.
ally can purchase endorsements or add-on benefits
to provide extra protection in areas that have
limited coverage. Additional protection as outlined
below can usually be added to a policy for an extra
premium. Consult your agent or insurance com-                 Consumer tip
pany to find out if these options are available.              Make an inventory of all your personal
• Guaranteed replacement cost coverage provides               belongings. Include the year each item was
   an extra cushion of protection that will pay the cost      purchased, its cost, and a receipt. Also, take
   to rebuild your home as long as you have met the           photographs or video of your possessions.
   requirements of your insurance policy.                     Make a photocopy of the inventory and keep
                                                              the original in a safe place outside your home.
                                                              A sample inventory form is on pages 18-23 of
                                                              this booklet.



                                                                                                                 5
Who needs home insurance?
Policy exclusions:                                      Obtaining protection
items not covered                                       for certain perils
Most policies do not cover loss to animals, birds, or   You can obtain additional protection for the follow-
fish; motor vehicles including equipment and acces-     ing types of situations that are not covered under
sories; aircraft and parts; floodwater damage;          most homeowner policies:
mudslides; water damage from sewer backup;              • Flood insurance is a separate policy that can be
damage resulting from war, nuclear hazard, neglect,       purchased through the National Flood Insurance
earthquakes, power failures, or damage due to             Program at 1-800-638-6620. A lender will require
seepage, dry rot, or vermin (animal pests). Consult       flood insurance if your home is located on a flood
your agent or insurance company, and/or review            plain. Your agent or insurance company can
your policy for a complete listing of exclusions.         assist you with completing an application.
                                                        • Earthquake insurance is available through most
                                                          insurance companies at an additional cost, usu-
                                                          ally as an endorsement to a homeowner policy.
                                                        • Mudslides are typically not covered on home-
                                                          owner policies. Check with your agent or insur-
                                                          ance company to see if your homeowner policy
                                                          includes this protection.

                                                        Renter insurance
                                                        You can purchase a renter or tenant insurance
                                                        policy to protect your personal belongings. This
                                                        policy also will provide personal liability protection
                                                        the same as a homeowner policy. A price compari-
                                                        son illustration for a renter policy is on page 16.

                                                        Condominium insurance
                                                        A condominium association should purchase a
                                                        policy that covers the building, including common
                                                        walls and grounds, as well as liability protection
                                                        associated with common grounds. You have the
                                                        right to examine the association’s policy.
                                                        You may purchase a Unit Owners Form policy to
                                                        protect your personal belongings, including the
                                                        interior walls, floor, and ceiling coverings of the
                                                        condominium, and any accessories not originally
                                                        installed in the unit. It also provides personal
                                                        liability protection.




6
                                                                  How to file a claim
Contact your insurance agent or company immedi-          amount of money the insurance company offers
ately when you have a loss. You will be asked to         will be based on this estimate, which should in-
sign a sworn statement called a “proof of loss.”         clude any repairs necessary to restore your home
Your insurance company will provide a standard-          for structural soundness, environmental safety and
ized form to use. You will be asked to provide a list    cosmetic quality. It should also include an analysis
of household items you have lost and their actual        of mold, mildew, spore problems, and wall struc-
cash value. If you have replacement-cost insurance       ture damage due to water.
on your home and personal belongings, you will           If you disagree with the insurance company adjuster’s
estimate the cost to make repairs with new materi-       estimate, you have the right to obtain an independent
als or replace items with similar products within 90     appraisal of the damage at your own expense. It’s in
days from the date the proof of loss was filed. It’s     your best interest to hire a reputable, licensed contrac-
important to demonstrate that you did everything         tor after conducting an interview, checking references,
possible to prevent additional damage to your            consulting with prior clients, and contacting the Better
house and property.                                      Business Bureau at (503) 226-3981, and the Oregon
The insurance company will reimburse you on an           Construction Contractors Board at (503) 365-7484.
actual-cash-value basis unless you provide evi-
dence that the items have been replaced. Receipts
are the best source of evidence. Photographs and
                                                         Negotiating a final settlement
videotape recordings can be instrumental in prov-        The insurance contract contains an appraisal clause
ing the ownership of products and replacement            that either party can initiate if it disagrees about the
value. The insurance company will use your proof         damages. In this situation, appraisers for the two
of loss statement to determine the value of your         sides select an impartial umpire. If the appraisers
claim. It’s important to list all items on this state-   can’t agree on an umpire within 15 days, either
ment, including small items such as kitchen utensils     party may ask a judge of a court of record to select
and clothing accessories. Keep a copy of all docu-       an umpire.
ments for your records.                                  The umpire’s fees and appraisal costs are required
                                                         to be paid equally by both parties. Each party is
                                                         responsible for its independent appraisal and legal
Evaluating the damage                                    fees. The appraisal process only applies to disagree-
An insurance adjuster will review damage to your         ments over the value of a loss. It is not used to settle
property and prepare an “estimate of loss” to repair     disputes regarding coverage or cause of a loss.
or replace your home and personal items. The



How to be a good insurance risk
Insurance companies evaluate the risks associated        If you don’t pay your premiums, an insurance
with each homeowner to determine if you are a            company can cancel your personal homeowner
“good risk” or if your policy should be canceled or      policy by giving 10 days’ written notice. The com-
not renewed. Some of the areas insurance compa-          pany is required to give you 30 days’ written notice
nies review include:                                     if it is canceling your policy for any other reason.
Condition of your home: Have you maintained
your home? Do you exhibit pride in ownership?
Claims: Have you had more claims than the average           Consumer tip
homeowner, who files a claim every nine years?              By increasing your deductible, you can
Credit history: Do you have bad credit? Have you            save money on premiums and avoid filing
filed for bankruptcy? Do you need extra income?             unnecessary claims.



                                                                                                                 7
A safety net for homeowners
Most states, including Oregon, have a safety net to      business in the state. It pays covered claims of
protect consumers from financial loss if an insur-       Oregon resident policyholders and other claimants
ance company becomes insolvent and is unable to          up to $300,000 if an Oregon-licensed insurance
pay claims. Oregon’s safety net is called the Oregon     company becomes insolvent. Claims are paid
Insurance Guaranty Association. The association          according to terms of the original insurance policy
was established by state law and is generally com-       and the association won’t pay any claim the insur-
posed of licensed insurance companies doing              ance company would not have paid.




Frequently asked questions

Q:      Why did my agent tell me one price for
        my insurance, but the company is charging
        me more?
                                                         Q:      Why didn’t the insurance company pay the
                                                                 appraised value of my loss?



A:      If an agent tells you one price, but your bill
        is for a higher premium, it could be that a
                                                         A:      The appraised value of your property is the
                                                                 value when the appraisal was made. Your
                                                         property may have lost value since your last appraisal
simple mistake was made in processing your               as a result of poor maintenance or depreciation.
application. Check to see if the amounts of insur-       If your house or belongings are damaged, your
ance, deductible, scheduled items, and policy            insurance company must pay your property’s
endorsements are the same on the policy and the          actual cash value at the time of the loss or its re-
quote. If you can’t find a discrepancy, check with       placement value if your policy provides replace-
your agent or company to find out if the bill is         ment cost coverage.
correct. If the bill is higher than you expected, ask
for an explanation. You will probably find there is
an honest misunderstanding between you and your
agent. These misunderstandings or “misquotes”            Q:      Why didn’t my policy pay for damage
                                                                 caused by a flood?
can happen when the agent does not have accurate
information about your property or about what
kind of coverage you want.                               A:      Flood damage is not covered by most home-
                                                                 owner policies. A separate policy can be pur-
                                                         chased through the National Flood Insurance Program.


Q:      What is the difference between the “replace-
        ment cost” and the “actual cash value” of my
        property?                                        Q:      Why didn’t my policy pay for seepage, dry
                                                                 rot, and vermin?


A:      Most agents write homeowner policies on a
        replacement-cost basis. This coverage pays       A:       Generally, insurance policies exclude damage
                                                                  caused by seepage, dry rot, or vermin (animal
                                                         pests). This is because these problems are usually the
to replace your home and belongings with materials
of “like kind and quality” at current prices. Actual-    result of poor maintenance, not a “sudden and acci-
cash-value policies reimburse the depreciated            dental” event.
value. A replacement-cost policy will usually cost a
little more.




8
                                                  Frequently asked questions
Q:      Why didn’t my insurance pay to replace
        everything I lost?                              Q:      How can I become a better risk in the eyes
                                                                of my insurance company?


A:      Most homeowner policies have “dollar
        limits” on certain types of belongings.
Generally these limits are on silverware, guns,
                                                        A:     You can do a number of things to qualify for
                                                               insurance coverage at a lower premium:
                                                        • Install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors, fire
jewelry, watches, furs, and computers. The limits         and burglar alarm systems, and adequate out-
usually cover losses of the average person. Talk to       door lighting.
your agent or insurance company about increasing
these limits to meet your individual needs.             • Keep your property well maintained and remove
                                                          garbage and other hazards that might increase the
                                                          chance of fires, accidents, or burglaries.
Q:      Why did the insurance company not renew
        my policy?                                      • Don’t keep a dog that has a history of biting.
                                                        • Repair crumbling sidewalks and dilapidated steps.

A:      Insurance companies may cancel your
        policy if your property has deteriorated to a
point that it no longer meets the company’s under-
                                                        • Review your credit record and correct errors.
                                                        • Increase your deductible. It may prevent you
writing standards. Insurance companies may also           from filing excessive claims and will lower your
choose not to renew your policy if you have filed         premium. Make sure you can pay the higher
more claims than the average person. The average          deductible if you have a loss.
homeowner files a claim once every nine years.

                                                        Q:      Where can I get more information or file
                                                                a complaint?


                                                        A:      The Oregon Insurance Division’s Consumer
                                                                Protection Section is available to help you
                                                        with questions or concerns about your insurance
                                                        policies. A complaint can also be filed for review.
                                                        To talk with a compliance officer, call:
                                                        (503) 947-7984 or (888) 877-4894 (toll-free in Oregon)




                                                                                                               9
Glossary
Actual cash value: The depreciated amount it            FAIR Plan: A plan available in Oregon that allows
would take to repair or replace your home or            property owners to obtain fire and extended cover-
personal property. For example, a couch that cost       age insurance protection through a government
$900 two years ago is now worth $600. The actual        reinsurance program. This policy provides limited
cash value is $600.                                     protection and no liability coverage.
Additional living expense: A form of insurance          Inflation guard endorsement: An endorsement to a
that pays a homeowner the increase in living ex-        homeowner policy that automatically increases the
penses needed to temporarily maintain a household       amount of insurance every three months.
elsewhere (e.g. motel or hotel) when damage by an       Insurance to value: An amount of insurance at, or
insured peril has made the home unlivable.              close to, the value of the property insured.
Adjuster: A representative of an insurance com-         Lapse: When premium payments are in default,
pany who determines the amount of a loss and how        an insurance contract becomes void and is said to
much the company will pay for it.                       have “lapsed.”
Appraisal: A survey of property made to determine       Liability coverage: This coverage pays for damages
its insurable value.                                    you cause to other people and their property.
Arbitration: Referral to impartial but knowledgeable    Named perils: Specific events covered by a policy,
parties when the company and the claimant cannot        such as fire, windstorm, and theft.
agree on the value of a claim. The arbitrator’s deci-
sion is binding on both parties.                        Perils: Events that cause damage to property, such
                                                        as fire, windstorm, and theft.
Debris removal: Coverage for the cost of removing
debris resulting from damage caused by an insured       Personal property: An insured’s personal belong-
peril.                                                  ings, such as clothing, jewelry, and furniture.
Deductible: Amount you agree to pay on each loss        Proof of loss: A formal statement made by a home-
before your insurance company pays. Generally,          owner that identifies specific damages.
the larger the deductible, the smaller your pre-        Real property: A dwelling or home is often referred
mium.                                                   to as real property.
Depreciation: Decrease in the value of property         Replacement cost value: The amount it would take
over time due to wear and tear and to obsolescence.     to replace or rebuild your home or repair damages
Dwelling: An insured’s home.                            with materials of similar kind and quality. For
                                                        example, a couch cost $900 when purchased but a
Endorsement: An addition or extension of coverage       comparable one now costs $1,200. A replacement
to an insurance policy.                                 cost value policy would pay you the $1,200 if you
Exclusion: Hazards, circumstances, or property not      provide a receipt showing you actually purchased
covered by an insurance policy.                         the replacement couch.
                                                        Scheduled items: Articles such as jewelry, furs,
                                                        stamps, coins, guns, computers, antiques, and other
                                                        items that may exceed normal policy limits in your
                                                        regular homeowner policy.




                                                           Price comparison survey
                                                           The tables on the following pages allow you
                                                           to compare prices (or rates) for the major
                                                           home insurance companies doing business
                                                           in Oregon. Participating companies are listed
                                                           in alphabetical order.


10
Coos Bay                                                             Price comparisons
General description:              Homeowner (HO-3) policy for a 1997 frame house with gas heat, no
                                  fireplace, composite shingle roof. Within city limits. Replacement value:
                                  $200,000 dwelling with no outbuildings. Full replacement value for
                                  contents: $140,000. Medical expenses: $1,000. Liability: $100,000.


                                                                                          $250 deductible
                                                        $250              $500            with earthquake
                Insurance company                     deductible        deductible           coverage
  1. Allstate Insurance. Co.*                             396                346                  516
  2. Amica Mutual Insurance Co.                           416                380                  496
  3. CGU/North Pacific Insurance Co.                      536                458                  711
  4. Country Mutual Insurance Co.                         345                301                  459
  5. Farmers Ins. Co. of Oregon                           348                305                  501
  6. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co.*                     274                247                  422
  7. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co.                    376                325                  522
  8. Mutual of Enumclaw*                                  459                417                  936
  9. Nationwide Direct                                    408                364                  566
10. Oregon Mutual Insurance Co.                           476                419                  591
11. Safeco Insurance Co.*                                 444                402                  570
12. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co.*                  not available           310             not available
13. Sublimity Insurance Co.                               405                315                  553
14. Unigard Indemnity Co.*                                456                411                  557
15. United Services Automobile Assoc.                     370                333                  554
16. USAA Casualty Insurance Co.                           447                407                  631
17. Valley Insurance*                                     450                360                  589
18. West American Insurance Co.                           448                428                  554
19. Western Protectors Insurance Co.                      450                398                  565


Notes:
• All figures are rounded.
• Premiums are for one year, as of Oct. 1, 1999, and are subject to change without notice.
• The rate comparisons in this booklet are designed to be used as a guide and don’t cover all situations. For
  specific information about rates, contact individual agents or companies.
* Please see Endnotes, Page 17, for additional information.




                                                                                                                11
Price comparisons                                  Pendleton (protected territory)
General description:               Homeowner (HO-3) policy for a 1997 frame house with gas heat, no
                                   fireplace, composite shingle roof. Within city limits. Replacement value:
                                   $200,000 dwelling with no outbuildings. Full replacement value for
                                   contents: $140,000. Medical expenses: $1,000. Liability: $100,000.


                                                                                           $250 deductible
                                                         $250              $500            with earthquake
               Insurance company                       deductible        deductible           coverage
  1. Allstate Insurance. Co.*                              443                388                  563
  2. Amica Mutual Insurance Co.                            416                380                  496
  3. CGU/North Pacific Insurance Co.                       491                419                  648
  4. Country Mutual Insurance Co.                          362                316                  408
  5. Farmers Ins. Co. of Oregon                            431                376                  597
  6. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co.*                      270                242                  418
  7. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co.                     367                317                  421
  8. Mutual of Enumclaw*                                   451                410                  683
  9. Nationwide Direct                                     397                354                  455
 10. Oregon Mutual Insurance Co.                           444                391                  534
 11. Safeco Insurance Co.*                                 426                386                  552
 12. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co.*                  not available           352             not available
 13. Sublimity Insurance Co.                               405                315                  553
 14. Unigard Indemnity Co.*                                442                399                  543
 15. United Services Automobile Assoc.                     393                354                  577
 16. USAA Casualty Insurance Co.                           475                432                  659
 17. Valley Insurance*                                     424                334                  544
 18. West American Insurance Co.                           514                491                  620
 19. Western Protectors Insurance Co.                      422                373                  512



Notes:
• All figures are rounded.
• Premiums are for one year, as of Oct. 1, 1999, and are subject to change without notice.
• The rate comparisons in this booklet are designed to be used as a guide and don’t cover all situations. For
  specific information about rates, contact individual agents or companies.
* Please see Endnotes, Page 17, for additional information.



12
Pendleton (unprotected territory)                                      Price comparison
General description:              Homeowner (HO-3) policy for a 1997 frame house with gas heat, no
                                                                     Outside city limits. Replacement value:
                                  fireplace, composite shingle roof. Within city limits. Replacement value:
                                  $200,000 dwelling with no outbuildings. Full replacement value for
                                  contents: $140,000. Medical expenses: $1,000. Liability: $100,000.


                                                                                          $250 deductible
                                                        $250              $500            with earthquake
                Insurance company                     deductible        deductible           coverage
  1. Allstate Insurance. Co.*                            1,205              1,089                1,325
  2. Amica Mutual Insurance Co.                           830               758                  910
  3. CGU/North Pacific Insurance Co.                     1,159              1,009                1,316
  4. Country Mutual Insurance Co.                         809               705                  855
  5. Farmers Ins. Co. of Oregon                          1,081              940                  1,344
  6. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co.*                     587               527                  735
  7. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co.                    776               671                  830
  8. Mutual of Enumclaw*                                 1,014              923                  1,246
  9. Nationwide Direct                                    850               758                  908
10. Oregon Mutual Insurance Co.                          1,119              1,019                1,209
11. Safeco Insurance Co.*                                1,116              1,073                1,242
12. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co.*                  not available          754              not available
13. Sublimity Insurance Co.                          not available      not available        not available
14. Unigard Indemnity Co.*                               1,204              1,084                1,305
15. United Services Automobile Assoc.                     797               727                  1,013
16. USAA Casualty Insurance Co.*                          845               768                  1,029
17. Valley Insurance*                                    1,085              995                  1,205
18. West American Insurance Co.                          1,167              1,114                1,273
19. Western Protectors Insurance Co.                 not available      not available        not available



Notes:
• All figures are rounded.
• Premiums are for one year, as of Oct. 1, 1999, and are subject to change without notice.
• The rate comparisons in this booklet are designed to be used as a guide and don’t cover all situations. For
  specific information about rates, contact individual agents or companies.
* Please see Endnotes, Page 17, for additional information.



                                                                                                               13
Price comparisons                                                                               Portland
General description:               Homeowner (HO-3) policy for a 1997 frame house with gas heat, no
                                   fireplace, composite shingle roof. Within city limits. Replacement value:
                                   $200,000 dwelling with no outbuildings. Full replacement value for
                                   contents: $140,000. Medical expenses: $1,000. Liability: $100,000.


                                                                                           $250 deductible
                                                         $250              $500            with earthquake
               Insurance company                       deductible        deductible           coverage
  1. Allstate Insurance. Co.*                              423                370                  543
  2. Amica Mutual Insurance Co.                            405                370                  485
  3. CGU/North Pacific Insurance Co.                       571                487                  737
  4. Country Mutual Insurance Co.                          421                367                  535
  5. Farmers Ins. Co. of Oregon                            439                382                  606
  6. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co.*                      299                269                  447
  7. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co.                     249                288                  434
  8. Mutual of Enumclaw*                                   521                474                  856
  9. Nationwide Direct                                     454                405                  612
 10. Oregon Mutual Insurance Co.                           476                419                  608
 11. Safeco Insurance Co.*                                 491                448                  617
 12. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co.*                  not available           364             not available
 13. Sublimity Insurance Co.                               405                315                  553
 14. Unigard Indemnity Co.*                                450                406                  551
 15. United Services Automobile Assoc.                     435                392                  619
 16. USAA Casualty Insurance Co.                           524                477                  708
 17. Valley Insurance*                                     489                399                  632
 18. West American Insurance Co.                           538                514                  644
 19. Western Protectors Insurance Co.                      450                398                  582



Notes:
• All figures are rounded.
• Premiums are for one year, as of Oct. 1, 1999, and are subject to change without notice.
• The rate comparisons in this booklet are designed to be used as a guide and don’t cover all situations. For
  specific information about rates, contact individual agents or companies.
* Please see Endnotes, Page 17, for additional information.



14
Salem                                                                   Price comparison
General description:               Homeowner (HO-3) policy for a 1997 frame house with gas heat, no
                                   fireplace, composite shingle roof. Within city limits. Replacement value:
                                   $200,000 dwelling with no outbuildings. Full replacement value for
                                   contents: $140,000. Medical expenses: $1,000. Liability: $100,000.


                                                                                           $250 deductible
                                                         $250              $500            with earthquake
                Insurance company                      deductible        deductible           coverage
  1. Allstate Insurance. Co.*                             314                 275                  434
  2. Amica Mutual Insurance Co.                           416                 380                  496
  3. CGU/North Pacific Insurance Co.                      491                 419                  657
  4. Country Mutual Insurance Co.                         337                 294                  451
  5. Farmers Ins. Co. of Oregon                           368                 322                  525
  6. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co.*                     269                 241                  417
  7. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co.                    328                 283                  474
  8. Mutual of Enumclaw*                                  436                 396                  771
  9. Nationwide Direct                                    366                 326                  524
 10. Oregon Mutual Insurance Co.                          364                 321                  496
 11. Safeco Insurance Co.*                                420                 381                  546
 12. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co.*                  not available           355             not available
 13. Sublimity Insurance Co.                              405                 315                  553
 14. Unigard Indemnity Co.*                               383                 346                  484
 15. United Services Automobile Assoc.                    343                 309                  527
 16. USAA Casualty Insurance Co.                          394                 358                  577
 17. Valley Insurance*                                    412                 322                  532
 18. West American Insurance Co.                          427                 408                  533
 19. Western Protectors Insurance Co.                     347                 307                  479



Notes:
• All figures are rounded.
• Premiums are for one year, as of Oct. 1, 1999, and are subject to change without notice.
• The rate comparisons in this booklet are designed to be used as a guide and don’t cover all situations. For
  specific information about rates, contact individual agents or companies.
* Please see Endnotes, Page 17, for additional information.



                                                                                                               15
Price comparisons                                                              Tenant insurance
General description:                 Tenant policy. Full replacement value for contents: $100,000, $250 deduct-
                                     ible. Medical expenses: $1,000. Liability: $100,000.


                 Insurance company                    Coos Bay       Pendleton       Portland         Salem
     1. Allstate Insurance. Co.*                          279            279            331            279
     2. Amica Mutual Insurance Co.                        447            447            447            447
     3. CGU/North Pacific Insurance Co.                   412            412            412            412
     4. Country Mutual Insurance Co.                      229            243            370            255
     5. Farmers Ins. Co. of Oregon                        246            226            302            241
     6. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co.*                  499            499            499            499
     7. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co.                 279            284            284            284
     8. Mutual of Enumclaw                                552            552            552            552
     9. Nationwide Direct                                 286            288            348            288
  10. Oregon Mutual Insurance Co.                         529            529            529            529
  11. Safeco Insurance Co.                                484            484            484            484
  12. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co.*                 not available not available   not available not available
  13. Sublimity Insurance Co.                             871            878            880            878
  14. Unigard Indemnity Co.                               443            443            499            443
  15. United Services Automobile Assoc.                   303            303            303            303
  16. USAA Casualty Insurance Co.                         373            373            373            373
  17. Valley Insurance                                    380            380            485            433
  18 West American Insurance Co.                          729            729            1,031          729
  19. Western Protectors Insurance Co.                not available not available   not available not available



Notes:
• All figures are rounded.
• Premiums are for one year, as of Oct. 1, 1999, and are subject to change without notice.
• The rate comparisons in this booklet are designed to be used as a guide and don’t cover all situations. For
  specific information about rates, contact individual agents or companies.
* Please see Endnotes, Page 17, for additional information.




16
                                                                                     Endnotes
The following companies provided additional information about their rate quotes.
1. Allstate Insurance Co.                                • Homeowner policy includes 20 percent
                                                           increased dwelling coverage, 75 percent
   • New home discount for a two-year-old
                                                           contents coverage, 10 percent building
     home was applied.
                                                           ordinance or law coverage, and 24 months
   • There is a 10 percent earthquake deductible.          additional living expenses, in addition to the
   • Tenant insurance: We assumed a building               general description provided.
     with 1-4 family units.
                                                      14. Unigard Indemnity Co.
6. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co.                       • The deductible for earthquake protection is
   • All homeowner and tenant examples have                $500.
     been given account credit, smoke alarm              • Discount credits include new home, dead
     credit, and dead bolt credit. In addition, the        bolt lock/fire extinguisher, smoke alarm,
     homeowner policy has a new home discount.             and package policy.
8. Mutual of Enumclaw                                    • Replacement cost contents automatically
                                                           includes $150,000 (75 percent of the dwell-
   • Guaranteed replacement cost on the dwell-             ing) amount of insurance.
     ing is included for homeowner quotes.
   • Earthquake rates in Oregon are calculated        15. Valley Insurance Co.
     according to ZIP codes.                             • Earthquake protection carries a 15 percent
                                                           deductible.
11. Safeco Insurance Co.
   • The homeowner policy is quoted in the
     quality plus market, with no restrictions
     on perils for personal contents, and no cap
     on benefits for home replacement guaranty
     and building ordinance and law provisions.

12. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co.
   • Earthquake protection quotes carry an
     applicable 10 percent deductible.
   • A $250 deductible is not available for new
     business. The minimum deductible available
     for earthquake and tenant insurance policies
     is $500.




                                                                                                         17
Inventory
A written inventory that includes photographs or videotape of possessions is helpful in the event of a loss.
The inventory should include original receipts for purchases as proof of losses when filing a claim. Make a
photocopy of the inventory and keep the original in a safe place outside your home.



                                      Items of special value
Some items are covered under homeowner policies on a limited basis. Find out which items are limited on
your insurance policy. Itemize these types of possessions and their value. Check whether they are covered
under your policy limits or need to be scheduled separately.


                       Items usually limited                             Value              Policy limit
 Jewelry, furs
 Fine art
 Antiques, heirlooms
 Silverware
 China/crystal
 Hobby items, tools, special collections
 Firearms, sporting equipment




                                     Other household items
                                                                   Year                            Receipt
                          Living room                            purchased           Cost         attached?
 Table
 Sofas
 Chairs
 Tables, stands
 Lamps
 Bookcase, shelves
 Draperies, rugs
 Television
 Stereo, VCR, etc.
 Decorations
 Woodstove, etc.




18
                                                       Inventory
                                          Year              Receipt
                      Dining room       purchased   Cost   attached?
Table
Chairs
Lamps
China hutch, etc.
Sideboard
Stands
Rugs
Draperies
Linens
Decorations




                                          Year              Receipt
                    Library/Den/Study   purchased   Cost   attached?
Desk
Chairs
Tables
Rugs
Draperies
Cabinets
Computers
Office equipment
Valuable books
Decorations




                                                                   19
Inventory
                                 Year              Receipt
                    Bedrooms   purchased   Cost   attached?
Beds
Dressers
Tables
Chairs
Lamps
Rugs
Draperies
Decorations
Bedding
Clothes
Accessories
Baby furniture




                                 Year              Receipt
                    Hallways   purchased   Cost   attached?
Rugs
Stands
Storage closets
Decorations
Lighting fixtures




20
                                                          Inventory
                                             Year              Receipt
                          Kitchen/Pantry   purchased   Cost   attached?
Tables
Chairs
Stands
Draperies
Lighting fixtures
Appliances:
  Oven/stove
  Microwave
  Food processor
  Dishwasher
  Washer/dryer
  Vacuum cleaner
  Freezer
Cupboards/cabinets
Dishware
Kitchen tools, utensils
Pots & pans
Glassware, silverware
Linens
Misc. stored items




                                             Year              Receipt
                          Miscellaneous    purchased   Cost   attached?
  Sewing machine




                                                                      21
Inventory
                                          Year              Receipt
                        Bathrooms       purchased   Cost   attached?
Fixtures
Shower
Tub
Sink
Commode
Lighting
Curtains
Rugs
Linens
Appliances
Accessories
Baby furniture




                                          Year              Receipt
                     Porch/Patio/Deck   purchased   Cost   attached?
Outdoor furniture
Lighting
Barbecue
Misc. stored items




22
                                                 Inventory
                                     Year              Receipt
                     Shed/Garage   purchased   Cost   attached?
Furnace
Water heater
Water pump
Tools
Sporting equipment
Building supplies
Storm windows
Screens
Christmas items
Misc. stored items




                                                             23
Insurance publications
The Oregon Insurance Division prints a variety of     • Long-Term Care Insurance
free publications to help consumers make informed       A discussion of long-term care insurance and
decisions about insurance. To order a publication,      benefits provided by Oregon law.
call (503) 947-7984 or (888) 877-4894 (toll-free in
Oregon). These publications also are available on     • Health Insurance Portability
our Web site:                                           How to continue coverage if you lose your group-
                                                        sponsored health insurance.
            www.cbs.state.or.us/ins
                                                      • Consumer Guide to Auto Insurance
• Oregon Consumer Guide to Medicare                     A comparison of auto insurance premiums for
  Supplement Insurance and Managed Care                 major insurers doing business in Oregon plus tips
  Organizations (MCOs)                                  on how to save money on auto insurance.
  A comparison of all Oregon-approved Medicare
  supplement policies and Medicare MCOs.              • Guide to Homeowner and Tenant Insurance
                                                        A comparison of homeowner and tenant premi-
• Your Medicare Health Plan Choices                     ums for major insurers doing business in Oregon
  A discussion of the advantages and disadvantages      plus tips on how to save money on insurance.
  of different types of Medicare managed care
  organizations.                                      • Protecting the Insurance-Buying Public
                                                        An overview of services available from the
• Free Help with Medicare                               Insurance Division.
  and Other Health Insurance
  Explains where to get help with Medicare and
  related health insurance questions.




24
                             ADA
                      THE KEY TO ACCESSIBILITY




In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA), this publication is available in alternative formats.
Call (503) 947-7980 or 947-7280 (TTY).
Information in this publication is in the public domain and may
be reprinted without permission.
D
D DEPARTMENT OF
 C
B CONSUMER
 S BUSINESS
      SERVICES
Insurance Division
350 Winter Street NE, Room 440
Salem, Oregon 97301-3883
                                 440-3253 (12/99/COM)

								
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